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Community throws party for sick boy and his twin

by: SUBMITTED - Hillary Cruz is pictured with her son, Chase, at his birthday party. She said she thinks it will be Chase's last birthday, as his health is failing from having battled CHARGE syndrome his whole life.by: SUBMITTED - Hubbard twins Chase (with hat) and Cruz Gutierrez celebrated their eighth birthday April 19.A Hubbard mother worked hard to make her twin sons’ birthday party special, particularly because she thinks it might be the last birthday for one of them.

Hillary Cruz is the mother of twin boys Hyrum “Chase” and Cruz Gutierrez, who turned 8 last week. While Cruz is a typical, energetic 8-year-old, Chase was born with CHARGE syndrome. CHARGE is an acronym for coloboma of the eye, heart defects, atresia of the choanae, retardation of growth and/or development, genital and/or urinary abnormalities, and ear abnormalities and deafness.

“The doctor says there’s no reason to explain why my boy is still alive,” the single mom said. “This birthday is a celebration of life. We’re going to roll out the red carpet and make it a way to thank the community.”

She said the birthday party, which was April 19, included the boys being serenaded by Portland band Hit Machine and even a ride for fun in the ambulance, thanks to American Medical Response.

“I am so grateful for the community support,” Cruz said.

In addition to her two boys, Cruz also takes care of her 8-year-old granddaughter Alina, who suffers from epilepsy.

But Cruz is grateful for every day she can spend with Chase.

“We didn’t think he would survive his first winter,” she said. “There’s no medical explanation for why he’s still alive. But he’s here to teach me and to teach the community. I’ve learned so much, things you can’t learn anywhere else.”

Cruz pointed out that she is already grieving the loss of her mother to cancer in January, but she thinks Chase, by: SUBMITTED - The Gutierrez twins' birthday party featured a personal performance by the Portland band Hit Machine (pictured) and a 'just-for-fun' ride in an ambulance, thanks to American Medical Response.who is bedridden, won’t be around much longer either.

“It’s been a hard road this year,” she said. “The whole purpose of a big party was to give a shout-out to the community, fire department, police — everyone who has helped us over the years. It’s been a family endeavor, because that’s what they are — they’re family.”

The community can still help support Chase’s family, which has tallied up a high amount of medical bills. For more information, visit www.gofundme.com/6rtmec.



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